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Brakel on the Providence of God

February 25, 2011

I rarely do any study in theology without consulting The Christian’s Reasonable Service by Wilhelmus a’Brakel.  As I have said on a number of occasions, when it comes to sheer pastoral theological insight, Brakel’s work is without peer in my library.  As I strive to be a faithful pastor/theologian, I look in many ways to follow in Brakel’s footsteps as he points me to the glory and beauty of God in Christ Jesus.  And while my feet are far too small to fill his tracks, I find it most encouraging all the many steps I am able to take within his.

Today I am reflecting upon the grand theme of the providence of God.  At the end of the section on the Providence of God, Brakel gives several “Practical Exhorations Concerning the Doctrine of Providence.” In this list, I am particularly encouraged by the fourth today.  Perhaps you will be also:

Fourthly, be not fearful of creatures, as they cannot initiate their own motion. It is God alone who governs and controls them. If you have an encounter with them, God who controls them has sent them. They cannot do anything but execute God‟s will. God obstructs them in their activity and causes them to depart again. Who would fear a sword, stick, or stone when it is lying upon the ground and does not move since it is not in anyone‟s hand? If it is God‟s will, anyone desirous to curse you will bless you; if they desire to slander you, they will praise you; and if they desire to kill you, they will kiss you. “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31). And since He is for you, children of God, why do you fear? For all your enemies it is true that it is but as if a terrifying mask conceals the countenance of a friend. “When He giveth quietness, who then can make trouble?” (Job 34:29). Therefore, “Fear not them which kill the body” (Matt 10:28). How quiet a soul may be which, while conscious of his enemies, “dwelleth in the secret place of the most High” and abides under the shadow of the Almighty (Ps 91:1)!

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